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41% of Americans Eat Pizza Once a Week

CHICAGO—Americans love their pizza—so much so that 41% of consumers report eating the tasty pie at least once a week, compared to just 26% two years ago, according to new market data from Technomic.

According to the Pizza Consumer Trend Report, pizza consumption has increased over the past two years as leading players revamp menus to include more innovative specialty pizzas, gourmet ingredients and items beyond pizza that help operators drive traffic. Interestingly, 68% of consumers order carryout pizza once a month or more, followed by 45% who order pizza for dine-in.

As increased consumer confidence leads some to trade up within the pizza category, others still feeling the pinch are attracted to the special offers and coupons that chains are rolling out as well as generally less expensive, yet high quality, take-and-bake and frozen pizza offerings.

“Consumers increasingly view pizza as the 'go-to' food when they don’t feel like cooking," said Technomic Executive Vice President Darren Tristano.“Operators can emphasize convenience in their marketing message, positioning pizza as an easy, convenient and affordable meal solution that will appeal to an entire group or family. It's a message that resonates with many customers."

Key findings include:

  • Combo-meat varieties and calzone-style stuffed pizzas stand out as growth areas at LSRs. At FSRs, there has been slight growth in the number of veggie/garden and combo-meat pizzas.
  • Chicken’s adaptability contributes to its widespread use as the top listed protein topping in the full-service segment and third most-frequently listed protein in limited-service, largely due to barbeque and Buffalo chicken varieties.
  • The latest menu trends call for authenticity, from Neapolitan, Sicilian and other regional Italian interpretations, to depth-of-flavor preparations, such as hearth-baked, wood-fired, coal and brick-oven cooking.
  • 37% of respondents order pizza from non-pizza limited-service and fast-casual restaurant locations once a month, signaling room for growth for these concepts and a potential threat for LSR pizza chains.
  • 49% of consumers are purchasing pizza from a grocery store once a month, making it the second leading foodservice source for pizza, surpassed only by LSR pizza restaurants (71%).

Want to learn more about trends in pizza. Download the Ubiquitous Pizza report in the Food Product Design Frozen/Refrigerated Content Library.

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